Issues and legislation

Information on the current legislation and legislative news.

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Senate runs over school employees with HB 4152 and SB 7

Fight back! Lawmakers need to hear from you!

The Senate today approved historic changes to collective bargaining and public employee compensation, stripping locally elected officials of the right to make important decisions.

Despite intensive lobbying by MEA leaders, staff, and others, the GOP-led Senate passed bills that impede local control and impact all public employees in some way.

The Michigan Senate voted to eliminate step wage increases between contracts and to require employees to pay at least 20 percent of the cost of health care, issues currently negotiated locally between employers and employees. The bill affecting step increases now goes to the governor for his signature; the health cost bill now goes to the House, where it could be amended.

Winners and losers

Seniors, poor, children pay for huge tax break for business

Gov. Rick Snyder's massive tax plan -- an unprecedented tax shift that hurts seniors, the poor, and children while giving a big break for businesses -- passed the Legislature today despite strong public opposition.

The plan taxes senior pensions, cuts subsidies for the working poor, and eliminates taxes for an estimated 95,000 businesses even as public schools brace for massive state funding cuts.

Act now: Help fight health care cost shift, privatization

Big votes expected Today -- we need your help!

Lawmakers are expected to vote today on separate proposals that strip local school districts of big decisions related to health care costs and privatization.

MEA staff and leaders are at the Capitol today to lobby against these bills -- and your legislative contacts are vital to our efforts to derail or modify these bills.

House considers major tenure overhaul

A four-bill package to dismantle teacher tenure would also eliminate significant collective bargaining rights for public employees.

GOP-led House OKs deep budget cuts for education

The state House today approved deep cuts for public education, slashing nearly $1 billion from K-12 schools statewide and 15 percent from community college and university budgets.

The House voted 57-53 for House Bill 4325 (see how your representative voted). Under the plan, K-12 districts will receive hundreds less in state aid per pupil for 2011-12 to pay for huge tax breaks for business.

While this vote is very disappointing, the budget battle isn't over. The House and Senate now must reconcile competing funding plans. We continue to work around the clock to try to stop the GOP-controlled Legislature from cutting vital education funding that helps students, but we need your help!

April 28, 2011 - Legislative Summary

1)  BUDGET and TAXATION

Governor proposes sweeping changes for public education; ignores budget crisis

In a much-anticipated special address on education, Gov. Rick Snyder today called for sweeping changes to improve public schools – including merit pay, tenure changes, more charter schools and more online learning – yet failed to provide any direction about how schools will be able to do more without adequate funding.

Current budget proposals for K-12 schools, community colleges, and universities call for hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts from the state – cuts that will directly impact student achievement, which Snyder says must improve or schools and educators will face severe penalties.

MEA President Iris K. Salters said Snyder’s long list of ideas along with major budget cuts “simply doesn’t make sense.” In a press release, Salters described Snyder’s proposal to base school funding on student performance as “counterproductive.”

Related:

Latest news on education funding

What you need to know about tenure proposals

House panel OKs tougher teacher strike penalties

The House Education Committee today passed House Bill 4466, legislation to penalize labor unions that represent striking teachers.

Snyder school budget cuts cast shadow on today's education address

MEA president responds to governor’s special message on education

EAST LANSING, Mich., April 27, 2011 –Against a backdrop of drastic cuts to education funding, Gov. Rick Snyder revealed his education plan for Michigan today, covering a variety of topics including early childhood education, teacher training, tenure, merit pay, charter schools and more.

House panel takes up bill to repeal tenure

School districts that want to fire ineffective teachers usually win tenure cases, a lawyer representing more than 400 districts testified today before the House Education Committee.

The committee is considering House Bill 4241, a bill to repeal the Teacher Tenure Act. The committee will meet again Wednesday at 9 a.m. to take additional testimony on tenure and to consider House Bills 4465 and 4466, legislation to toughen teacher strike penalties.

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